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American journal of hypertension

Retinoid X receptor agonists inhibit hypertension-induced myocardial hypertrophy by modulating LKB1/AMPK/p70S6K signaling pathway.


PMID 24603314

Abstract

Retinoid X receptor (RXR) has been demonstrated to play an important role in cardiac development and has been implicated in cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed to examine the effects of RXRα agonist bexarotene on pathological left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in a spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model and the underlying mechanism. WKY rats served as controls. SHRs were randomized into 3 groups at the age of 4 weeks and were treated (once daily for 12 weeks) with either bexarotene (30 or 100mg/kg body weight) or vehicle alone. Echocardiography was performed to determine cardiac structure and function. Neonatal cardiomyocytes were treated with AngII (10(-7) mmol/L) with or without the indicated concentration of RXRα ligand 9-cis-RA. The protein abundances of β-actin, RXRα, LKB1, phospho-LKB1, AMPK, phospho-AMPK, P70S6K, phospho-P70S6K, ACE, and AT1 receptor were measured along with blood pressure, body weight and angiotensin II (Ang II) levels. The effects of LKB1 downregulation by LKB1 small, interfering RNA were examined. Treatment of SHRs with bexarotene resulted in significant inhibition of LVH without eliminating hypertension. Immunoblot with heart tissue homogenates from SHRs revealed that bexarotene activated the LKB1/AMPK signaling pathway and inhibited p70S6K. However, the increased Ang II levels in SHR serum and heart tissue were not reduced by bexarotene treatment. Treatment of cardiomyocytes with Ang II resulted in significantly reduced LKB1/AMPK activity and increased p70S6K activity. 9-cis-RA antagonized Ang II-induced LKB1/AMPK and p70S6K activation changes in vitro. RXR agonists prevent the inhibition of the LKB1/AMPK/p70S6K pathway and regulate protein synthesis to reduce LVH. This antihypertrophic effect of bexarotene is independent of blood pressure.

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